Thompson Custom Bicycles

Thompson Custom Bicycles

650b sized wheels have generated themselves a cult following, predominantly amongst the randonneuring crowd, and recently in the MTB scene. While the jury is still out, there are those who swear by the wheel size, which lies in-between the standard MTB wheel size of 26 inch and the road standard of 700c. Corey Thompson decided to build himself a rando to try the benefits for himself. The result is spectacular.

Sticking a pin in the map for Olympia, Washington, Corey Thompson is a craftsman who has no website or blog because, frankly, he doesn’t need one. The wait for a Thompson frame is 7-12 months as it is and he obviously wields the flame out of love: it shows. With integrated lighting (how about that rear light) and a Super Nova headlight — powered by a Schmidt Nabendynamo front hub (which can provide up to 50,000 kilometers of trouble free riding between services), custom racks, handcrafted lugs, BB shell and fork crown, this is an industrial strength pièce de résistance.

There is a tradition in the martial arts that states that ‘even the masters have masters’, a refreshing reminder for those who have reached a plateau. So too for Corey, he credits firstly his father for instilling within him the desire to build things for himself from an early age and Bill Stevenson who taught Corey how to build frames.

You often hear stories about chefs who eat baked beans on toast for dinner and cleaners whose home is a mess but they don’t apply to Corey, here is a builder who has produced for himself one of the finest examples in the handmade bicycle scene. It’d be interesting to hear his verdict on 650b wheels now that he’s dirtied up those Grand Bois tires. You can email him here.

Massive thanks to Paul Reynolds for the photography, there’s more images on his flickr stream.

Thompson Custom Bicycles
Thompson Custom Bicycles
Thompson Custom Bicycles
Thompson Custom Bicycles
Thompson Custom Bicycles
Thompson Custom Bicycles
Thompson Custom Bicycles
Thompson Custom Bicycles

  • jimmythefly

    Stunning. One of the best on this site. The carbon post is a bit of a surprise, but considering all of the other details I’m sure there is a specific reason it was chosen. Love the M900 rear derailleur and broken-in Brooks pro.

    I wonder if the rack will get chromed or paint/powder?

    One quick thing about 650b- it’s worth noting that it’s not merely the wheel size that is attractive, but the available tires, too. There just isn’t a 700c equivalent for the Hetre.

  • transexl

    Wow !

    I´ve seen so many great bikes on this site, but I am surprised by this one.

    Leaving aside the artistic tubing and wonderful finish – these mudguards seem so elegant yet purposeful in their deep valancing.
    I´d love to know where these came from.

    It seems to me that my idea of the “ideal bike” has been thought before… .

  • jimmythefly

    Not sure which exact fenders those are, but there are similar ones available here:

    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/accessories/fenders/fender-sets.html

  • Heather

    The rack is stainless.

  • Brooks

    jimmythefly: Thank you! I’ve been wanting some fenders like that for my bike as well.

  • Heather

    This is another one of his which I think is stunning:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/peanutbutterandjam/AWRandonneuseLegere#